Saturday, February 2, 2013

Our return part II...

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For part I click here...

We got all the way to Wilkes-Barre and stayed overnight.  We settled on pizza in our room for dinner and walked to the store nearby.  It occurred to us during the walk that we probably should have driven, but we were kind of out of the habit!  Back in the room we enjoyed long-awaited American pizza and the first time we'd gotten to see How I Met Your Mother new on TV in months.
We got an earlier start than we intended to because of waking up early with our jet-lag so we had hotel breakfast and got on the road again.  There was some snow and a little danger to the roads in PA, but we passed through it and everything was fine further north.  We got to the apartment quickly and our POD had already been delivered.
We took care of our priorities like registering the cars and getting new licenses that first day and then got busy with our unpacking.  My husband hired a guy for a few hours one night to help with the last and heaviest stuff and I managed to squeeze in an American haircut by someone who spoke English and could understand what I wanted!
By Saturday we were headed south again for Thanksgiving.  We stayed overnight with my sister-in-law, brother-in-law, and nephew and had a nice visit with them.  Around three in the afternoon we left to start down to Durham to see my cousin and her family.  Brice stayed for a bit and then went to meet his brother for a little while at UNC.  My sister-in-law brought my nephew over so we could play together for a bit.  He was jusut adorable.  The last time I had seen him in person was right after he was born.  He'd called me on a Skype a few times but it's not the same as getting to squeeze his cute little self :-)  He did well playing with the bigger kids (he was 11 months at the time) and was so interested to watch everything they were doing.  Brice came by later and spent some time and my aunt came by to watch the kids while my cousin and her husband had a date.  It was good to get to see so many people.
From there we finally made our way to my parents' late that evening (we made a stop for Bojangles' for me since Brice had gotten it with his brother earlier).
I picked up my brother from the airport on Tuesday.  My husband drove to SC to get his grandmother and we had a nice dinner with her Tuesday night and shared a slideshow of the best photos from our travels with all the parents, Grandma, and my brother.  My best friend's mom joined us for Thanksgiving and some family friends that usually join us were there as well.  On Friday I got to see one of my best friend's for a little while--very low-key as we were both sick.  Brice left Saturday afternoon to go back to Germany and I left early to go to Atlanta to see my friend and her mom (the one who came to Thanksgiving).  We had a great time catching up and we parted ways Sunday afternoon.  I spent another day in Concord and got to have lunch with another friend and then started back up to CT on Tuesday.  Along the way I stopped in DE/PA to see my friends from my old job.  My friend was good enough to host me and arrange dinner with everyone.  The next day I stopped by work to say "hello" and our old church.  Then I spent several hours with another friend from work who was good enough to have me for lunch and dinner.  I did the short drive that evening after traffic through NYC would have lessened.
I got to work on unpacking and settling in and starting to decorate for Christmas, doing my best to make things homey before my husband got home Saturday.  We got our Christmas tree on Sunday and tried to relax and take things easy for the next few weeks.  We did a day trip to NYC to see a special Lion King exhibit, storefronts, and of course, my cousins.  It was a good visit and was the exact same weekend we were there last year.  The funniest thing was taking a train in the US and speaking English to the conductors!
We stayed in the area for Christmas, but we did drive over to Albany the Saturday before and had a nice dinner made by my aunt and uncle with my grandmother and another uncle.  Sunday morning we all drove out to Cooperstown to see my aunt and a few of my cousins who were in town.  I hadn't seen on of my cousins since her wedding over 2 years ago so that was really nice.  It was a great day and ended with an announcement of a new family member coming via my cousin :-)
We left in the morning and decided to stay home that evening and try going to church on Christmas since it was just the two of us and we didn't have other plans.  We slept too late and missed the time we meant to go but managed to make it to noon Mass at another church.  We had cinnamon rolls as our (very!) late breakfast when we returned and opened presents.  We both did treasure hunts for each other for our big presents--my clues for him all rhymed but his clues were all very hard riddles.  His big gift was guitar lessons and mine was my long-awaited breadmaker!
A couple of days later we went to Friendly's for my birthday :-) 
In the meantime I had found a job listing, applied, interviewed, and accepted said job so I am working again now and still going to school part-time.  I hope to finish school this summer and I am so excited!

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